Tech Update 4.5 - Bulk Roster Updates, Practice Sessions, Site Search, and More

Learn about website improvements we completed since last spring, including improvements to roster sorting and the ability to bulk update a roster, the addition of Practice Sessions and eLearning options for your course listings, upgrades to site search, adding Single Sign On (SSO) capabilities to our eLearning platform Coassemble, and more. Here’s what we did.
Kristina Ciari Tursi Kristina Ciari Tursi
Membership & Communications Director
February 01, 2024
Tech Update 4.5 - Bulk Roster Updates, Practice Sessions, Site Search, and More

Since our update last spring, we’ve been working on many improvements to our website to support the work of our volunteer leaders and to make accessing information easier for everyone. This round includes improvements to rosters - including the ability to bulk update, sort by all columns, and have “sticky headers” to make navigating long rosters easier. We also upgraded our site search functionality to be smarter and more dynamic, specifically to help folks find our Mountaineers Books titles. We added the option to schedule Practice Sessions and eLearning courses, improving leader and member experience. Plus, we made many other small fixes to improve your overall website experience.

These improvements were originally slated for launch in November 2023, but were delayed by the unexpected passing of Jeff Bowman, our Associate Director of Information Technology. We continue to work through what our future technology staffing will look like, and we thank you for your patience and understanding as our capabilities are significantly hindered. As a reminder, if you see something that is not working as expected on our website, please follow the instructions to report a bug. If you have an idea for a new feature or function, you can suggest it through our Mountaineers Feedback System.  

Update Feb 7, 2024, 8am

Thank you for your patience as this website update took longer to launch than anticipated. All of the below updates have been launched, but we continue to work through bugs in the code. Thank you for helping us identify those as you find them.

Roster Improvements

Managing rosters is one of the single most important and time consuming tasks on our website. To make this easier, we’ve made a number of long-awaited upgrades to our roster functionality. Most exciting, we’ve added the ability to bulk update rosters. Now you can bulk add people to rosters, add multiple badges to a group of people at one time, and change the participation status of multiple people at a time. To support the launch of this, we also deployed a fix that will migrate existing leader and instructor badge assignments to committee rosters so that it’s easy to see which badges are held by committee members. 

We’ve also added the ability to sort rosters by any field and we have made the roster header line “sticky”, so that you can always see the column names, even when a roster is long. We added a horizontal scrolling option too for smaller screens or wide rosters. And, we fixed a few common view errors with bigger rosters.

We hope this improvement makes the lives of our volunteer leaders significantly easier, and we thank you for your patience as we built all of this functionality. 

Site Search

The Search icon at the top of our website is one of the best ways to find what you need quickly. However, like any algorithm, it can always be improved. For this iteration, we focused on making improvements to search, specifically for our Books buyers. We boosted Books-related items so that they’ll show up higher in search and we hope that helps more people find out about our many titles and compelling authors. We also upgraded our search to perform better with typos, synonyms, and related items that tech-people refer to as “fuzzy logic”.

Practice Sessions & eLearning Templates

For years, our volunteers have been asking for an option to list a “Practice Session” as an activity type. And, because of the recent popularity of online courses, we’ve had requests to add “eLearning” as well. We’re excited to share that this update includes the addition of both Practice Session and eLearning as an option for you to list activities. Previously, we’d only had the option of Clinic, Seminar, Lecture, or Field Trip. 

To schedule one of these new activities, you will need to first create a Practice Session or eLearning template, just like you create a Clinic or Seminar template. Follow the instructions for How To Schedule & Manage Clinics & Seminars and select “Practice Session” or “eLearning” as the activity category. Practice Session and eLearning templates should be saved in your committee’s Seminar & Clinic Templates folder.

When scheduling an activity, you will find any available Practice Session and eLearning templates under the “Seminar or Clinic” option.

Small Fixes

We completed a number of smaller items to improve your website navigation experience, to speed up the process when you’re checking out, to make our forms easier to use, to improve your email notifications, and to upgrade the viewing experience for some of our pages. The smaller improvements include:

Website Navigation & Performance

  • Address response time errors for committee admins
  • Update embedding options so we can include EveryAction Forms on our website, enabling folks to better engage with advocacy efforts
  • Upgrade performance options for our website forms and their responses
  • Make improvements to image viewing and storage options 
  • Standardize all calendar views with Sunday to Saturday dates
  • Upgrade to newest version of Apache Solr, giving us better performance for you and improved analysis for staff on the backend

Shopping and Checkout

  • Upgrade to add option to ‘use shipping address as billing address’ with one click to make checkout quicker
  • Update cart icon so it always shows, even when empty
  • Improve the performance of our Mountaineers Books header to make it easier for folks to navigate to the thousands of titles in our library
  • Improve donation experience when checking out as a guest

Notifications & Information Access

  • Provide volunteers with better access to our Board and Branch Dashboards, which help highlight popular courses and areas where we need to provide more support
  • Improve email notifications when tickets become available for sold-out events
  • Add My Blog Posts to My Profile view options
  • Fix age-restriction errors for adult and youth registrations
  • Added links to more easily download youth forms
  • Update our emailed receipts to include the last four digits of your credit card number
  • Fixed the view problems when viewing trip reports in route/place tabs
  • Improve the experience of giving or reviewing feedback


Interested in learning more about our technology and infrastructure?  You can read all of our related blogs on our Technology Blog. We especially encourage you to read How We Prioritize Technology Feedback and Projects, and then check out our feedback website to see what else we're working on. 

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